Meet our Team

Dr Justin Roche

Dr Justin Roche

Medical Director & Consultant Paediatrician MB ChB, FRCPCH, FRCPI(Paeds), IBCLC

Justin is a Consultant Paediatrician and a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) and a Fellow of The Faculty of Paediatrics, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and has registered with the Medical Council (Number 171584) under the Specialist Division for Paediatrics.

He has spent thousands of hours on continuing education having attended numerous conferences and courses on tongue tie, predominantly in the United States, in order to be at the forefront of care for infants, children and adults. He is also a former board member of the International Consortium of Ankyloglossia Professionals (ICAP). He is is a Fellow of the American Laser Study Club. Justin has presented on the management of Tongue Tie at International Conferences.

Justin’s interest in Tongue Tie dates back to 1999 when his first daughter was born. At 5 days old she had her tongue tie divided in Southampton. Six children and four tongue ties later, he returned to Southampton to start his training in how to divide tongue ties himself. He has been treating tongue ties since 2008 and leading a dedicated tongue tie clinic since 2010. Currently, Justin and the Team would assess and divide tongue-ties +/- lip ties in over one thousand infants, children and adults each year.

Dr Alan Clarke 


Alan has been working in Paediatrics for many years, most recently in Tipperary University Hospital as a Senior Registrar. He studied Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI, Dublin and was awarded an Honors Degree. From there he gained experience in Hospitals in the South of Ireland in General Paedicatrics, Neonatology and Community Paediactrics. He is registered with the Medical Council number: 268422. He is a member of the American Laser Study Club and has also completed his Tongue Tie and Laser Certification in Boston. Prior to studying Medicine he worked in Radiography in Cork University Hospital following his Undergraduate degree (BSc Hons Radiography (Radiotherapy) from South Bank University, London.

Alan Clarke
Kate Roche

Kate Roche

Clinical Director & Chartered Physiotherapist BSc Physiotherapy, MISCP, IBCLC. 

Kate is a Chartered Physiotherapist who specialises in working with babies and children with oral dysfunction.

Having trained at the University of Liverpool, she worked in both Leeds and Southampton, where she led and delivered the regional neonatal service for pre-term and high-risk infants, before moving to Ireland. She is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and registered with CORU PT03981.

Kate has travelled many times over the last few years, mainly to the USA, to complete further training in Feeding Therapy, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy and Autonomic Nervous System Therapeutics.

Sarath Divakaran

Chartered Physiotherapist MSc Psy, BPT, PGDSPT, MISCP.

Sarath is a new member of our growing team. He is a Chartered Physiotherapist with over 25 years of experience. Since moving to Ireland from India in 2003, he has worked as a Paediatric Physiotherapist in the public sector for nearly 20 years in Cork and in Tipperary.

He has also been a part of Early Intervention teams. He has completed specialised training in Neurodevelopmental therapy – The Bobath approach in treating children with various developmental needs.

In 2010, he completed his MSc in Physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. He has also completed an MSc in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy in India.

Sarath has a special interest in and has completed training in Infant Mental Health, Mellow bumps, and in the Newborn Behavioral Observations system (NBO). He is very intrigued by the interactions between early life experiences, emotional development, and their impact on sensory-motor development. He strongly believes in supporting and incorporating positive parent-baby relationships during all his interventions. His fields of special interest and expertise also include Aquatic Physiotherapy for children with complex needs.

Sarath has training in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and is passionate about integrating all his skills to provide a holistic approach to his intervention for the children, their families, and adults who attend the National Tongue Tie Centre.

Sarath Divakaran
Louise O'Donovan

Louise O’Donovan

Clinic Manager

Louise is the Clinic Manager for the National Tongue Tie Centre, responsible for the day-to-day running of the clinic. She completed a BA in English and Mathematics at NUIG and then went on to study for a  postgraduate Diploma in Advertising in DIT. Louise and her husband moved to the US and for the next 11 years Louise worked in Advertising, Marketing and Special Markets managing both domestic and international accounts.

Upon returning to Ireland, Louise and her family settled in Clonmel. In 2020 Louise achieved the Diploma in Buteyko Breathing under the tutelage of Patrick McKeown and is committed to teaching the program to the patients at the National Tongue Tie Centre. Louise received her Dip in Yoga, in New Jersey, in 2002 and has been teaching yoga part-time since then. 

Anne Marie Clarke

Nurse Specialist / Clinical Care Co-ordinator

Anne Marie qualified as a Nurse from University Hospital Waterford. She went back to college and completed a Masters in Clinical Practice and Nursing. She worked in University Hospital Waterford for nearly 20 years, with over 6 years experience as the Colorectal Cancer Nurse Co-ordinator.

Anne Marie is a busy mum to 4 boys Charles, Harry, Oliver and James and spends her evenings and weekends at GAA and soccer pitches.

Elaine Looby

Elaine Looby

Paediatric Nurse

Elaine trained at King’s College London and qualified as a paediatric nurse.

She most recently worked in Tipperary University Hospital for 17 years, where she gained huge experience in an acute setting caring for babies and children of all ages with varied medical and surgical conditions. She has also previously worked in neonates and paediatrics at Waterford University Hospital and Tallaght Hospital. Elaine is married to Alan and has three boys Darragh, Cillian, and Conor.

Helena Costin

Paediatric Nurse

Helena is one of our newest members of the team. Having qualified in general nursing in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda in 1996, she then followed on from there to obtain a higher diploma in paediatrics at Temple Street Children’s Hospital and UCD in 1999.

Having worked in several hospitals Helena has a vast array of experience in medical, surgical, accident and emergency, and paediatric nursing. Her main interest is in paediatrics and has over 25 years of experience in the same, the latest being 16 years in Paediatrics at Tipperary University Hospital. Married and living in Waterford with Seán, they have three children Seán Óg, Méabh, and Dáithí.

Helena Costin

Johanna Riley-Cusack

Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Johanna joined our team here as a Lactation Consultant in December 2020. She grew up in sunny Southern California and has been living in Ireland since 1992 with her husband and two daughters. She has over 25 years of experience working with breastfeeding families and is experienced in providing a wide range of support with both breast and bottle feeding. Her undergraduate work was in Psychology and she worked as a service coordinator for children with special needs in San Diego. When her first baby was born she knew she wanted to breastfeed, but soon realised there was a lot to learn! As her daughters grew she trained as a breastfeeding counsellor and led a mothers’ breastfeeding group for 12 years. She qualified as an IBCLC in 2010 and recertified in 2020. Her experience includes private practice consultations, antenatal breastfeeding preparation, training voluntary breastfeeding support counsellors, serving on the National Council of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland, and working with the HSE in establishing “Ask the Expert” online breastfeeding support. She has attended and presented at conferences in the US and around Europe to further her knowledge in a rapidly developing field. There is always more to learn about caring for mothers and babies, and she aims to provide solid support and information in a kind and compassionate way. She loves her work! It is an honour to interact with new families and to help them have the experience they want to have.

Anabela Almeida

Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) & Oromyofunctional Therapist

Anabela’s role in the National Tongue Tie Centre is as both a Lactation Consultant and Myofunctional Therapist. She started her career as a general nurse in a busy hospital in her birth city of Lisbon, Portugal. She then moved to Ireland in 2007 and shortly after this, she had her first son. A difficult pregnancy, birth, and postnatal period encouraged her to dedicate her work to new mums and babies, thus completing her HDip in Midwifery at UCC in 2012. She has since worked in several maternity hospitals as a midwife and IBCLC, as well as providing private antenatal and postnatal support. Anabela is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (2013), an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant IBCLC (2016), a Hypnobirthing Instructor (2019), and a Myofunctional Therapist (2022). Her role in the clinic is to provide specialised infant feeding support, both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, to the families before, after, and at the time of frenectomy. Her breastfeeding support role as IBCLC also extends to the many families that require lactation support but do not require frenectomy. Anabela also works with older children and adults undergoing functional frenuloplasty, providing myofunctional therapy treatment in preparation for surgery and in the post-procedure period. Anabela is a mum to four tongue-tied breastfed children, including her twin boys who were treated at the clinic.

Agnes Fitzgerald

Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Agnes is a Lactation Consultant here at the National Tongue Tie Centre. She worked in the Neonatal ICU at University Hospital Waterford from 2001 to 2019 where she helped Mothers of both term and preterm Infants become established on their road to successful breastfeeding.  Agnes has been a Lactation Consultant since 2009 and is also a member of The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI). She is also a Paediatric Nurse having worked in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin for several years. Living in Kilkenny and married to Sean they have three girls Emily, Hannah, and Mia.

Emer Conlisk

Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Emer is a Lactation Consultant here at the National Tongue Tie Centre. She worked as a midwife in both University Hospital Galway and Tipperary University Hospital. Her experience also includes providing private antenatal and postnatal consults and facilitating mother and baby support groups


Grainne Lonergan

Administrative Lead

Gráinne is our Administrative Lead at the National Tongue Tie Centre. She has worked in medical administration for over 30 years in various specialties including Paediatrics, Respiratory, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Neurology, Haematology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, and Orthopaedics. Gráinne studied Health Services Management at the Irish Health Services Institute. Most recently achieved a Distinction in Level 6 Special Needs Assistance Course in the College of Progressive Education.

Sinead Walsh


Sinead joined the National Tongue Tie Centre in January 2023 as part of our administration team. Having worked in the travel industry for over 30 years strong customer expertise and excellent communication skills were developed. Sinead brings such skills to her current role with great ease.  Sinead enjoys meeting and welcoming new families to the clinic on a daily basis accommodating individual parental needs.  Recently Sinead has completed the globally recognised International Computer Driving License Course (ICDL).

Gillian Lynch

Healthcare Assistant Lead

Gillian is responsible for leading the Healthcare Assistant team at the clinic. She obtained a distinction in all modules of her Health Care Assistant with ETB. Gillian has been caring for the young and elderly as a childminder and carer over the last 17 years. Gillian worked in South Tipperary General Hospital before joining the team here in 2019. Most recently she undertook a course as a Physiotherapy Assistant through Reed training.

Kirsty McLelland

Physiotherapy Assistant and Receptionist

Kirsty is a Physiotherapy Assistant at the National Tongue Tie Centre. She trained as a Dental surgery assistant at Glasgow Dental Hospital. Kirsty has also worked in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin as a Maxillofacial Nurse in the Cleft palate and Plastics Clinics. Most recently has worked in administration in contact tracing during Covid-19. Kirsty joined the Practice in 2020 and works as both a Physiotherapy Assistant and in Administration.

Kirsty McLelland

Lesley Connolly

Healthcare Assistant

Lesley joined the team at the National Tongue Tie Centre in August 2022.  Having worked as a Healthcare Assistant for the HSE for 14 years, Lesley brings many years of experience to our workplace.  Lesley has cared for many families and brings her kind and caring nature to her work every day. Lesley is married to Thomas and they have two sons. 

Alan Bunyan

Physician’s Assistant

Alan has been with the team for the last three years. He enjoys meeting new families and the most fulfilling part of his job is seeing them walk out with a smile on their faces. He is also father to a little boy, Jordan.

Alan Bunyan
Beth Roche

Beth Roche


Beth works in both Receptionist and Healthcare Assistant roles at the National Tongue Tie Centre. In addition to this, she is also responsible for managing the clinic’s website and social media profiles. She has been working in the clinic for almost 6 years, so has seen how it has evolved and expanded over time. Beth is in her second year studying Sports and Exercise Sciences at the University of Limerick. She also has an NCEF Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness.

Hilda Grace

Jackie Cunningham

Mairead Morley